Company Update (NYSE:LC): LendingClub Corp and Opportunity Fund Announce Partnership to Grow Responsible Small Business Lending

At CGI America, President Bill Clinton announced a Commitment to Action between LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC), the world’s largest online marketplace connecting borrowers and investors, and Opportunity Fund, a national leader in community-based lending to small businesses.

“Access to capital for entrepreneurs is key to restoring real economic mobility, job creation and the economic health of the middle class. Opportunity Fund and Lending Club are committed to pilot an unprecedented partnership,” announced President Clinton.

This pilot program is intended to provide up to $10 million in loans to small businesses in underserved areas of California, helping an estimated 400 businesses create 1,000 jobs, based on historical impact data collected by Opportunity Fund. The partnership was developed as part of the Community Investment Working Group.

“This is a breakthrough collaboration of high-tech and nonprofit business lending, and it draws on the best of both worlds. We think this points to the future of responsible business lending, and has the potential to take it to a whole new scale,” said Opportunity Fund CEO Eric Weaver. “We’ve been lending in disadvantaged communities for twenty years. The plan for this partnership is to allow us to reach many more underserved businesses by developing a first-of-its kind technology integration with Lending Club. We believe that combining a best-in-class community-based lender with the world’s largest online credit marketplace will provide a customer experience that is seamless and will deliver funding quickly to borrowers that are currently shut out.”

Renaud Laplanche, CEO of Lending Club, said, “Opportunity Fund has developed deep expertise in providing capital in communities underserved by emerging players and traditional banking. Through this partnership, our goal is to make our technology available to Opportunity Fund to help them scale further, to meet the needs of a greater number of small business owners.”

Access to capital for entrepreneurs plays a key role in economic mobility, job creation, and the health of the middle-class, but bank lending to small businesses has failed to recover from the 2008 recession. According to FDIC data[1], while bank commercial loans of $1 million or more have increased by 47% from 2007 to 2014, loans of $100,000 or less have actually fallen by 9%. According to Opportunity Fund, minority communities and women entrepreneurs are particularly underserved, exacerbating disparities in wealth and opportunity.

Opportunity Fund and Lending Club will work to create a loan program specifically designed for businesses in underserved areas of California. The partnership will leverage the Lending Club technology platform to identify qualifying applicants under Opportunity Fund’s specific credit criteria; allow Opportunity Fund to review the pre-screened applicants through a seamless technology integration; and then Opportunity Fund will fund qualifying loans. The goal is for these small business owners to gain access to affordable credit, as well as expert advice and support from Opportunity Fund’s dedicated staff. (Original Source)

Shares of Lendingclub Corp. closed last Friday at $17.28 . LC has a 1-year high of $29.29 and a 1-year low of $17. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $17.88 and its 200-day moving average is $20.20.

On the ratings front, Lendingclub Corp. has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on June 10, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Scott Devitt upgraded LC to Buy, with a price target of $25, which implies an upside of 44.7% from current levels. Separately, on June 8, Pacific Crest’s Josh Beck upgraded the stock to Buy and has a price target of $2.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Scott Devitt and Josh Beck have a total average return of 17.5% and 7.0% respectively. Devitt has a success rate of 63.8% and is ranked #154 out of 3624 analysts, while Beck has a success rate of 68.4% and is ranked #1401.

LendingClub Corp is an online marketplace connecting borrowers and investors to engage intransactions relating to standard or custom program loans.

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